Watching a teenage daughter fall in love can be a rewarding experience, though that can quickly become painful when the relationship ends. The break-up of a long-term relationship can be devastating for everyone involved, whether your daughter or her former boyfriend ended the relationship. Your guidance as your daughter grieves for her relationship can help her get back to her normal routines.
Speaking About The Boyfriend
No matter your feelings toward your daughter's ex-boyfriend, she may still care about and respect him. Avoid saying anything negative about him or their relationship, says HealthyChildren.org, the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It will only close down communication between the two of you and fuel your daughter's pain. You can remind her that, while it may not seem like it now, she will be happy again. This can also be an appropriate time to share your experiences with your own teen heartbreaks.
No matter how close you are with your daughter, she may not be ready to speak to you about her break-up now or ever, according to KidsHealth, a child development site. Find peers or other family members who may be able to talk to your daughter if she does not want to talk to you. In the meantime, make yourself available and offer to talk whenever she feels ready. If she wants space, give her plenty of time to grieve on her own.
Finding ways to help your daughter stay busy and focus on her usual activities can be beneficial, according to Boston Children's Hospital Center for Young Women's Health. Encourage her to visit friends, go to the movies or volunteer. This can also be the time to enjoy activities your daughter has been anticipating, like letting her have a birthday sleepover with friends or going to a nice restaurant for dinner as a family. Though parents should encourage these activities, recognize your daughter's wishes if she wants to be alone.
Caring For Your Daughter
If your daughter's grief does not seem to improve or she talks of hurting herself or feeling worthless without her boyfriend, contact a counselor or psychologist for help. Your child's doctor or pediatrician can also refer you to a mental health professional who can assist your daughter. Spending excessive amounts of time alone or using drugs or alcohol to help the pain could also be indicators that your daughter needs professional assistance, says Boston Children's Hospital Center for Young Women's Health.